Final Friday

No, this isn’t the final day of Friday posts.  I figured I should clear that right up from the get-go.

A few months ago, a friend of mine (who reads this blog–HI FRIEND) suggested that we play Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles together on Friday nights.

We’ve gotten tired of FFCC, but we still get together most Friday nights.

I’m actually in his room right now.  He’s trying to distract me from my writing with suggestive slurping of an orange push pop.  Oh good grief.  You do not want to know what I’m putting up with right now.

Final Friday has turned into something of a carrier of our friendship.  I don’t really see him that much outside of work otherwise.

I’m still pretty young, but I’ve lived long enough to watch friendships come and go.   As I look at the friendships I have now–the ones I’ve successfully maintained throughout the years–the familiar thread through all of them is the abundance of time set aside for each person.

I used to believe that friendships were just things that faded in and out of our lives.  I thought of my years as seasons of friend groups because with each new life stage my friend group changed.

People said that high school would be different; that friends made there would carry over for a lifetime.  Then came came college, and people said the same thing: friends made in college would last a lifetime.

For the most part, they were wrong.  Most of my friends from those years faded into the mist of the past.   It was the same with my camp counselor friends from 2010, when I spent a glorious summer herding fifth graders around the mountains of New Mexico.

It had gotten to the point where I thought there was something wrong with me.  That maybe I was some sort of friendship breaking machine–the kind that ground long-term friendships into dust.

What I hadn’t realized was that you don’t get to keep all the friendships you make.   In fact, you don’t get to keep most friendships you make.

I’m convinced that lifelong friendships exist.  I’m also convinced that you only get two or three of them.  Think of them as rare diamonds in the coal mine of your life.  Most friendships are coal.  They’re nothing special, and they get pulverized by the pressures that life brings.

Every now and then, one of those coal pieces doesn’t crumble and fade away.  Sometimes the life pressures merely refine the coal piece until POP.  You’ve got yourself a friendship diamond, one that’ll last a lifetime.

I stopped beating myself up over my apparent friendlessness.

Instead, I learned to cherish the friendships I do have because they are the diamonds in my coal mine of life.

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